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A little tangy, a little sweet…this easy Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce is great on ribs, steak tips, chicken, and more!

Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

Anytime we host a party at our house, we always find ourselves with a can or two of leftover soda that one of our guests leaves behind.  In fact, if you looked inside our spare refrigerator down in our basement – we have quite the eclectic collection of beverages!

Jack and I aren’t really soda drinkers these days, but we do cook with it – and that inspired today’s Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce recipe.


Dr Pepper Barbecue Sauce

Do a quick online search – and you’ll actually find lots of other Dr Pepper barbecue sauce recipes out there.  And you can even buy pre-made Dr Pepper BBQ sauces at the store!

But – as always – my husband Jack likes to put his own spin on things, and a homemade Dr Pepper BBQ sauce really is the best!

How to make Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

Our Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce is easy to make, with a blend of sautéed onions and garlic, fire roasted tomatoes, tomato paste, a little heat from red pepper flakes, a nice tang from white balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and yellow mustard, and sweetness from a can of Dr Pepper and brown sugar.

As your Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce simmers away, the flavors intensify into a sweet, rich and tangy sauce that is out of this world!


Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

How do you serve Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce?

You’re going to want to put this sauce on everything – ribs, chicken, pulled pork sandwiches, or steak tips! (In fact, we’ve got a great Dr Pepper Grilled Steak Tips recipe right here!

More Homemade BBQ Sauce recipes:

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups
  • Category: sauces


  • Feel free to add more heat by increasing the amount of red pepper flakes used in this recipe.
  • If you like a real tangy BBQ sauce, increase the vinegar to ½ cup.


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups sweet onion diced, such as Vidalia

2 tablespoon fresh garlic, chopped

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

6 tablespoons tomato paste

1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 12-ounce can Dr Pepper

¼ cup Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon yellow salad mustard

½ cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with juice

2 tablespoons butter


In a tall sided medium sauce pan, add olive oil over medium heat and once hot add the onions. Cook for three minutes or until they are partially soft.

Add garlic and pepper flakes and cook one minute.

Add tomato paste and cook one more minute.

Add vinegar, increase heat to medium high and cook to partially evaporate, about five minutes.

Add all other ingredients except butter, bring to a medium bubble and cook for ten minutes. (Mixture will bubble and splatter which is why a high sided sauce pan is needed, otherwise top with a splatter screen).

After ten minutes, transfer to a blender and puree until completely smooth, about one minute.

Add the butter to the blended mixture and puree again until the butter is melted and blended into the sauce. The butter helps round out the flavors.

Use as you would any other BBQ sauce – on ribs, steak tips, sandwiches, or chicken.

Keywords: Dr Pepper BBQ sauce, barbecue sauce


Dr Pepper BBQ Sauce

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  • Denise wrote:

    How do you make this recipe thicker

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Denise – You can just simmer it for longer so more of the liquid evaporates.

  • Viviane wrote:

    How long will this last in the fridge??

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Viviane – It should be good if refrigerated for 2-3 weeks.

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